Berea, KY- The women's basketball returned to the Seabury Center Arena this evening to compete in their last home game of the season. Tonight's visitor to the Roland Wierwille Court was the University of the Cumberlands Patriots. The Mountaineers came into the contest with a 5-2 home court record.
In a closely contested game which saw nine lead changes and six ties, Berea took the first lead of the game off of a pair of Anna Loveless free throws. The lead changed rather quickly though as the Patriots scored the next nine points to gain a 9-2 advantage with 4:30 left in the first quarter. The Mountaineers defense held the Cumberlands offense to just two points over the next four minutes and entered the second quarter trailing 11-6.
After allowing the first basket of the second quarter, Berea went on an 8-0 run to regain the lead 15-13 with 4:56 remaining in the half. After another lead change caused by the Patriots, the Mountaineers scored the next five points, with a three pointer from Loveless and a layup from Adriana Williams, to give the team a 20-16 advantage at the 3:05 mark. With the lead cut to just one, Kelsey Tippitt's three point basket pushed Berea's lead back out to four but Cumberlands responded with a three of their own and a jumper to end the half sent the Mountaineers to the locker room down by one point, 24-23.
With the score 28-25 a little over two minutes into the third quarter, Jaime Roberts made a jump shot which cut the lead to just one, before the Patriots extended it to three again with a jump shot. Tippitt tied it up with her second shot from the beyond the arc, which jump started a 6-0, resulting in a 33-30 lead for Berea. The lead did not last for long as Cumberlands went on a 9-0 run to give them a 39-33 advantage, forcing a Mountaineers time out. Berea came out of the break the aggressors, scoring the next six points, concluding with a Roberts three point basket to once again tie the game, 39-39. The Patriots broke the tie and headed to the deciding quarter with a three point advantage, 44-41.
The teams exchanged baskets to begin the fourth quarter, including another Tippitt three point basket that gave the Mountaineers 48-46 lead. It was a brief lead though as the Patriots scored the next four points and led 50-48 with 7:25 remaining in the game. After Cumberlands split a pair of free throws to give them a 54-50 advantage, Bethanie Williams completed a three point play to cut the deficit down to just one with 3:54 left on the clock. Bethanie Williams continued the scoring for the team as her three point jump shot cut the four point Patriots advantage to just one with 2:49 still to go in the game, making the score 57-56. Cumberlands scored their next three points from the free throw line before Adriana Williams pair of foul shots made the deficit just two, 60-58, with 57 seconds left before the final buzzer. With 32 seconds remaining in the game, Berea forced a turnover to get the ball back and the turnover resulted in an Adriana Williams layup, tying the game at 60. With the game knotted up and looking like it heading to overtime, the Patriots hit a jumper in the corner which gave them the final lead, and Berea's last ditch effort would not fall in the net, as the team fell to Cumberlands 64-60.
The loss moves the team's record to 14-10 as they head to their final regular season game. The game takes place on Thursday, February 18th when they travel to Georgetown, KY to take on Georgetown College looking to add to their tournament resume. The action is scheduled to begin at 6:00 PM. Live video and stats of the game can be viewed here.